Two goals from Offaly Senior Hurling star Shane Dooley fired Tullamore to victory in the Offaly Senior Football Championship Final in O’Connor Park on Sunday.
Tullamore Court Hotel Offaly Senior Football Final
Tullamore went into the game as rank outsiders having suffered a heavy defeat to Rhode in the opening round of the championship but on Sunday they shut down a talented Rhode forward line restricting them to just seven points from play.
Manager John Rouse, who was a member of the Tullamore team who shocked then heavy favourites Shamrocks 2007, had his side set up perfectly to repeat the trick last Sunday.
With Paul McConway outstanding at full-back, Michael Brazil and John Donohue bossing the midfield and Shane Dooley firing home the all important brace of goals, Tullamore earned their 27th Senior title to put them ahead of Rhode at the top of the Roll of Honour.
No Rhode forward scored twice from play which was an amazing achievement by the Tullamore backs considering Rhode had scored 3-19 in their quarter-final against St Rynagh’s and 0-20 in the semi-final against Edenderry.
Rhode had the chances to win the game but over the hour they hit a wasteful 14 wides while Tullamore were only off target on six occasions.
Tullamore completely stifled Rhode in the first-half with the defending champions first score not coming until the 19th minute when Mark Dunne slotted the ball over the bar.
By that stage Tullamore had 1-1 on the board with both scores coming from Shane Dooley who benefited from a knock down from Johnny Moloney.
Rhode hauled their way back into it before the break and sides were level at 1-2 to 0-5 at half-time.
However the momentum swung back to Tullamore early in the second-half as a point from Michael Brazil was followed by an opportunist goal from Dooley to leave four points between the sides.
Rhode never found their scoring form which had seen them average almost 26 points a game during the championship and they added just four points with the wind in the second-half.
Tullamore added just four points in the final 20 minutes themselves but they had done enough to secure an unlikely win against all the odds.
Tullamore: Shane Dooley 2-3 (0-1f), John Moloney 0-1, Ciaran Maloney 0-1, Michael Brazil 0-1, Shane Kelly 0-1. Rhode: Niall Darby 0-3 (0-2f ), Niall McNamee 0-1, Glen O’Connell 0-1, James McPadden 0-1, Pascal Kellaghan 0-1, Mark Dunne 0-1, Eoghan Byrne 0-1
Tullamore – E Brennan; D Carroll, P McConway, M Conlon; K O’Brien, JKeane, G Ward; J O’Donohue, M Brazil; N Bracken, J Moloney, C Moloney; K Williamson, S Kelly, S Dooley. Subs: B Francis for K O’Brien (50 mins), J Kenny for C Moloney (53 mins), D O’Neill for S Kelly (59 mins).
Rhode – K Garry; D Murphy, S Sullivan, J McPadden; C Heavey, B Darby, E Byrne; A McNamee, M Dunne; S Hannon, G O’Connell, P Sullivan; N Darby, N McNamee, P McPadden. Subs: E Rigney for S Sullivan (36 mins), Conor McNamee for S Hannon (40 mins),P Kellaghan for P McPadden (44 mins), D Hope for G O’Connell (45 mins), Rory McNamee for N Darby (49 mins).
Ref: Fergal Smyth (Kilclonfert)